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Four-way stops aim to cut down on accidents

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
A four-way stop including red flags and noisy rumble strips appears to be working at one of the county’s most dangerous intersections.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has put in the new traffic control system at the intersection of Old Beatty Ford Road and Old Concord Road in the Bostian Heights community.
State highway officials concede that it’s not the traffic light that many people wanted and it’s noisy 24 hours a day as cars cross the series of rumble strips.
“Four-way stops work,” Pat Ivey, Division 9 engineer, said recently. “We’re beginning to use four-way stops more and more to correct accident problems. They work.”
Some residents of the area had lobbied for a traffic signal to replace the flashing red and yellow light that hung above the intersection for years.
Crashes continued, with the latest fatality on Aug. 13, when Melissa Beth Vanderburg of 703 Yost Road pulled into the path of an oncoming truck at the intersection. Vanderburg died at the scene.
Ivey said the intersection, while heavily traveled, doesn’t have enough volume to justify a traffic light. “At some point in the future, traffic will increase and a signal will be needed,” Ivey said.
The decision to put in the four-way stop came after several meetings between highway officials and area residents, the Bostian Heights Fire Department and the N.C. Highway Patrol. Rep. Fred Steen of Landis was also involved in discussions. Ivey said they planned to have a follow-up meeting this month once the four-way stop was put in place, but he was advised the meeting wasn’t necessary.
“There’s been no wrecks,” Ivey said.
And other intersections in the county may have the same type of four-way stops, complete with rumble strips.
“There are several other intersections across the county where this (four-way stops) may be possible,” Ivey said.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254.

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